Q: What is the prime factorization of the number 100?

A:
• The prime factors are: 2 x 2 x 5 x 5
• or also written as { 2, 2, 5, 5 }
• Written in exponential form: 22 x 52

Why is the prime factorization of 100 written as 22 x 52?

What is prime factorization?

Prime factorization or prime factor decomposition is the process of finding which prime numbers can be multiplied together to make the original number.

Finding the prime factors of 100

To find the prime factors, you start by dividing the number by the first prime number, which is 2. If there is not a remainder, meaning you can divide evenly, then 2 is a factor of the number. Continue dividing by 2 until you cannot divide evenly anymore. Write down how many 2's you were able to divide by evenly. Now try dividing by the next prime factor, which is 3. The goal is to get to a quotient of 1.

If it doesn't make sense yet, let's try it...

Here are the first several prime factors: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29...

Let's start by dividing 100 by 2

100 ÷ 2 = 50 - No remainder! 2 is one of the factors!
50 ÷ 2 = 25 - No remainder! 2 is one of the factors!
25 ÷ 2 = 12.5 - There is a remainder. We can't divide by 2 evenly anymore. Let's try the next prime number
25 ÷ 3 = 8.3333 - This has a remainder. 3 is not a factor.
25 ÷ 5 = 5 - No remainder! 5 is one of the factors!
5 ÷ 5 = 1 - No remainder! 5 is one of the factors!

The orange divisor(s) above are the prime factors of the number 100. If we put all of it together we have the factors 2 x 2 x 5 x 5 = 100. It can also be written in exponential form as 22 x 52.

Factor Tree

Another way to do prime factorization is to use a factor tree. Below is a factor tree for the number 100.

 100 2 50 2 25 5 5

More Prime Factorization Examples

 98 99 101 102 21 x 72 32 x 111 1011 21 x 31 x 171

Try the factor calculator

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